Question how to use a micro sd card

stigofthedump

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Hi. I am fed up of not having enough storage on my Alcatel 1 phone so have bought a micro sd card. I have never used one of these cards so whilst waiting for it to be delivered I have searched for advice on how to use the card. The phone's manual doesn't mention it and I found a Youtube vid which just shows me how to insert the card. So my questions are: do i insert the card with the phone off or on? Will my phone automatically recognise the card? How do I save photos to the card instead of onto my phone which is what currently happens? Thanks for any advice.
 

SpookDroid

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1) No difference. The system is prepared to detect the card either upon boot or when in an active state. Electrically speaking, however, it's safer to plug new hardware in when a device is off.

2) Yup. Once the card is inserted, the system recognizes it and will scan for media files to display in the Gallery.

3) This will depend on which camera app you're using (or which app you are trying to configure downloads/saves to). Not all apps support external storage or changing the default save folder, but if it does, it should always be inside the app's settings.

That being said, SD cards are not reliable, so Android stopped officially supporting them for system files a few OS versions ago. Now it's relegated to external downloads and media files, so don't expect to be able to install apps on it unless you 'hack' your OS to support that (not advised especially since you can find the myriad of posts where people lose pictures or videos that weren't backed up from a faulty/corrupted card).
 

B. Diddy

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The Alcatel 1 is a 6 year old phone that is extremely underpowered -- Mediatek MT6739, 1 GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB internal storage, running Android Go (the stripped-down version of Android designed for budget phones): https://www.gsmarena.com/alcatel_1-9985.php. I suspect adding an SD card will do nothing to improve your experience. As SpookDroid mentioned above, an SD card may help you store more photos, music files, documents, etc., but it will do nothing to increase your ability to install more apps.
 
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stigofthedump

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1) No difference. The system is prepared to detect the card either upon boot or when in an active state. Electrically speaking, however, it's safer to plug new hardware in when a device is off.

2) Yup. Once the card is inserted, the system recognizes it and will scan for media files to display in the Gallery.

3) This will depend on which camera app you're using (or which app you are trying to configure downloads/saves to). Not all apps support external storage or changing the default save folder, but if it does, it should always be inside the app's settings.

That being said, SD cards are not reliable, so Android stopped officially supporting them for system files a few OS versions ago. Now it's relegated to external downloads and media files, so don't expect to be able to install apps on it unless you 'hack' your OS to support that (not advised especially since you can find the myriad of posts where people lose pictures or videos that weren't backed up from a faulty/corrupted card).
Thanks for your help I use the camera that was part of the phone when I bought it. I usually see a "low storage" message when I try to use the camera so I assumed saving photos and vids to a SD card rather than the phone should stop that message being displayed.
 

B. Diddy

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Thanks for your help I use the camera that was part of the phone when I bought it. I usually see a "low storage" message when I try to use the camera so I assumed saving photos and vids to a SD card rather than the phone should stop that message being displayed.
Even if you move all of the current photos and other media files or documents to the SD card, it's still possible that you'll get a low storage warning, because it's usually apps that take up most of your internal storage. You'd probably have to move 1-2 GB of files to the SD card in order to make that warning go away -- do you think you'd be able to move that much?
 
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SpookDroid

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Thanks for your help I use the camera that was part of the phone when I bought it. I usually see a "low storage" message when I try to use the camera so I assumed saving photos and vids to a SD card rather than the phone should stop that message being displayed.
If you are going to save camera files onto the SD card, I strongly suggest you have an active cloud backup (or regularly save them to a hard drive or somewhere 'safer').
 

stigofthedump

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The Alcatel 1 is a 6 year old phone that is extremely underpowered -- Mediatek MT6739, 1 GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB internal storage, running Android Go (the stripped-down version of Android designed for budget phones): https://www.gsmarena.com/alcatel_1-9985.php. I suspect adding an SD card will do nothing to improve your experience. As SpookDroid mentioned above, an SD card may help you store more photos, music files, documents, etc., but it will do nothing to increase your ability to install more apps.
Thanks for your answer and advice. The phone was described as being the 2021 version. I don't want to install more apps but would love to get rid of the ones that are on my phone. I can't work out what most of them are for (what is Meet??) Unfortunately, according to some members in this forum, most of the apps that are on the phone can't be removed. I don't want them, don't use them and they are taking up a huge amount of space. Grrr.
 

stigofthedump

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Even if you move all of the current photos and other media files or documents to the SD card, it's still possible that you'll get a low storage warning, because it's usually apps that take up most of your internal storage. You'd probably have to move 1-2 GB of files to the SD card in order to make that warning go away -- do you think you'd be able to move that much?
Hi. Don't have that much saved to my phone apart from the annoying unwanted apps. I mainly use my phone for text messaging and using Facebook and Whatsapp on my home's wifi. I have basic Pedometer app which i use occasionally. I did have about 6 photos on the phone but yesterday I moved them to my tablet using Bluetooth. Doing that, plus frequently clearing caches, seemes to stop the low storage message being displayed..
 

B. Diddy

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Looks like the specs of the 2021 version aren't much better than the 2018 version: https://www.alcatelmobile.com/product/smartphone/alcatel1/alcatel-1-2021/. Still 1 GB RAM, and 8 or 16 GB internal storage. Keep in mind that of the internal storage the phone comes with, at least 3-4 GB needs to be used for the system, and any preinstalled bloatware will also take up some space as well (sometimes upwards of 1-2 GB). So for a phone with 8 GB of storage, the user often can only use about 3 GB at the most. Modern apps that you install from the Play Store take up more and more space these days (since developers keep expanding their capabilities to take advantage of the increased storage that most current phones have), so it's not unusual for a budget phone like this to be capable of installing only a few apps before it starts to run out of storage.

These budget phones are really only good for the most basic of phone functions (i.e., calling, texting, browsing the web, email). If you start installing more than a couple of apps, you will run into problems. I realize that most people with Android Go devices have financial constraints, and may not simply be able to get a more powerful phone, but there are options out there if you keep looking (like used or refurbished devices, or midrange phones from a couple of years ago).
 

Madd62

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Also bear in mind this phone will not support an SD Card capacity larger than 32gb (SDHC)

As B. Diddy mentioned you can get an awful lot more for very little money. My spare phone is a {2018} *2019 Moto E6 Plus (UK only), with 32gb and is more than enough though I added a card anyway.

(*corrected: it's 2019 model release)

If you want guidance on older or renewed models for little money let us know. You could probably still trade that in or sell it.
 
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Windroid 2483

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an SD card may help you store more photos, music files, documents, etc., but it will do nothing to increase your ability to install more apps.
Moving documents to the SD card will mean more room for apps on the hard disk.

But how much more room? That would depend on how much space the documents are taking up! It could mean a lot more space, or it could be negable.
 

B. Diddy

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Moving documents to the SD card will mean more room for apps on the hard disk.

But how much more room? That would depend on how much space the documents are taking up! It could mean a lot more space, or it could be negable.
That's the thing -- documents usually don't take up that much space, so moving them to SD most likely would not free up a significant amount of internal storage. If there were tons of photos, videos, and/or music files (like at least 2-3 GB), then that might be worthwhile. But this also brings up another issue: the inherent unreliability of SD cards. They are significantly more likely to fail or get corrupted compared to onboard storage or cloud storage, so I would strongly caution against using an SD card as the sole storage location for valuable files.
 
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stigofthedump

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Moving documents to the SD card will mean more room for apps on the hard disk.

But how much more room? That would depend on how much space the documents are taking up! It could mean a lot more space, or it could be negable.
Hi. i don't want or need to install more apps. I just want to be able to store more photos. I have bought an SD card and pushed it into the relevant slot then turned the phone on. The phone seemed to recognise and set up the card automatically. That's a relief! However a message was displayed telling it was Moving "something" (can't remember the second word) I clicked ok expecting to see another message asking me what to move. Instead the phone moved lots of GB to the card. I have no idea what was moved but I can see there is a lot more space on my phone. I think i can say that the card has solved my storage problem. Only time will tell.
 

stigofthedump

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That's the thing -- documents usually don't take up that much space, so moving them to SD most likely would not free up a significant amount of internal storage. If there were tons of photos, videos, and/or music files (like at least 2-3 GB), then that might be worthwhile. But this also brings up another issue: the inherent unreliability of SD cards. They are significantly more likely to fail or get corrupted compared to onboard storage or cloud storage, so I would strongly caution against using an SD card as the sole storage location for valuable files.
I just want to take more photos which I then print or transfer to my laptop's hard drive.
 

SpookDroid

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Glad it helped, but please make sure that pictures stored to the SD card have a back up (cloud is highly recommended). We don't want you to go through the pain of losing data because of a faulty SD card. Good luck!
 

smvim

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Your Alcatel phone's dated status is itself a significant drawback (i.e. while most apps are continuing to receive updates the OS is no longer supported). But a major problem is even in its day, years ago, that phone was a sub-class, bargain-bin category phone -- low res display, only marginally usable amount of RAM, minimal internal storage memory, low-end CPU and GPU, etc., etc. And it's running a GO version of Android, a scaled down and functionally restricted version of Android intended for phones will limited capability.

So it's not surprising you are frustrated with this phone's storage. I'd recommend that instead of wasting so much time and effort getting this phone to a more usable condition that you instead buy a new replacement phone. Get a phone that just works, not one that aggravates you just to do basic tasks. Not knowing if you have an 8 or 16GB model is a minor issue, but consider the common basic amount of internal storage in even a viable budget-class phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy A15, is currently 128GB.
It's not like you wasted money on the microSD card, shop around for a better replacement phone, and insert the card into that. A microSD card's storage media is a good place for secondary, local backups of your phone's internal storage data.

This is just personal opinion but I very much disagree with current opinions that microSD cards aren't reliable. While that was more or less an accurate statement well over a decade ago, and can still be said for off-brand knock-offs that have currently flooded the market, if you bought a brand-name card you'll be fine. With today's technology, the physical storage media inside a microSD card is now much more stable and reliable that it was decades ago.
Over the years it's not like SD card development has been stagnant. All storage media in general has been under constant development the entire time. So SD cards are now more robust, faster, more capable. (.... There's still a software-related drawback with their default file system, but that's a user interaction issue.)
Basically, if you bought a cheap, off-brand card than you're risking data-loss so I'd suggest you toss the card. If you bought a brand-name, like Samsung, Crucial, SanDisk, etc. you should have a lot more confidence as added storage capacity for your phone.
 
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stigofthedump

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Your Alcatel phone's dated status is itself a significant drawback (i.e. while most apps are continuing to receive updates the OS is no longer supported). But a major problem is even in its day, years ago, that phone was a sub-class, bargain-bin category phone -- low res display, only marginally usable amount of RAM, minimal internal storage memory, low-end CPU and GPU, etc., etc. And it's running a GO version of Android, a scaled down and functionally restricted version of Android intended for phones will limited capability.

So it's not surprising you are frustrated with this phone's storage. I'd recommend that instead of wasting so much time and effort getting this phone to a more usable condition that you instead buy a new replacement phone. Get a phone that just works, not one that aggravates you just to do basic tasks. Not knowing if you have an 8 or 16GB model is a minor issue, but consider the common basic amount of internal storage in even a viable budget-class phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy A15, is currently 128GB.
It's not like you wasted money on the microSD card, shop around for a better replacement phone, and insert the card into that. A microSD card's storage media is a good place for secondary, local backups of your phone's internal storage data.

This is just personal opinion but I very much disagree with current opinions that microSD cards aren't reliable. While that was more or less an accurate statement well over a decade ago, and can still be said for off-brand knock-offs that have currently flooded the market, if you bought a brand-name card you'll be fine. With today's technology, the physical storage media inside a microSD card is now much more stable and reliable that it was decades ago.
Over the years it's not like SD card development has been stagnant. All storage media in general has been under constant development the entire time. So SD cards are now more robust, faster, more capable. (.... There's still a software-related drawback with their default file system, but that's a user interaction issue.)
Basically, if you bought a cheap, off-brand card than you're risking data-loss so I'd suggest you toss the card. If you bought a brand-name, like Samsung, Crucial, SanDisk, etc. you should have a lot more confidence as added storage capacity for your phone.
Thanks for help and advice. I only bought this phone a few months ago. I knew it wasn't the most up-to-date model but I only wanted a basic (4G) smartphone to text, Whatsapp, occasionally make calls and take photos. I didn't want to spend a fortune on a smartphone and couldn't afford a more expensive one anyway (am an OAP on a state pension). I had a smartphone 10 years ago and hated it. I went back to using a very basic phone that was only 2G but realised I needed 4G. This phone I recently bought seems to be easier to use that more complicated, expensive phones, although it took me HOURS to set it up! - yet another reason i don't want to scrap it and buy another one. The 8GB storage would be plenty but the annoying unwanted apps take up most of this storage. I had no idea that I would have to have these space-hungry apps and that they can't be removed. The good news is that the SD card i bought is SanDisk. 😁
 

smvim

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..... I didn't want to spend a fortune on a smartphone and couldn't afford a more expensive one anyway (am an OAP on a state pension). I had a smartphone 10 years ago and hated it. I went back to using a very basic phone that was only 2G but realised I needed 4G. This phone I recently bought seems to be easier to use that more complicated, expensive phones, although it took me HOURS to set it up! - yet another reason i don't want to scrap it and buy another one. The 8GB storage would be plenty but the annoying unwanted apps take up most of this storage. I had no idea that I would have to have these space-hungry apps and that they can't be removed. The good news is that the SD card i bought is SanDisk. 😁
You do not have to spend money for a pricey, high-end smartphone, there are plenty of mid-range and even budget-class phones that are very adequate for most us to use as daily usage phones. By focusing on low-spec, cheap phones because 'that's all you need' isn't practical and most likely a big part to all your frustrations using them. Investing in a better class of phone is more than just a short-term expense, it's a long-term investment in yourself.
Smartphone development in general is only getting more advanced, more complicated, and more resource-heavy. Expectations that old-world technology will just keep working with today's online services is a bad practice. This will just increase aggravations using your cheap, below-spec phone.
Even with a budget restriction there are phones that are quite viable and still economical. If anything, avoid getting another phone running any version of Android Go. Really, Go is intended to be used on minimum usage phones. It's by design pared down with stripped down apps and services that have inherent limitations. If you do get another phone running Android Go, set your expectations lower when using it.
 

stigofthedump

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You do not have to spend money for a pricey, high-end smartphone, there are plenty of mid-range and even budget-class phones that are very adequate for most us to use as daily usage phones. By focusing on low-spec, cheap phones because 'that's all you need' isn't practical and most likely a big part to all your frustrations using them. Investing in a better class of phone is more than just a short-term expense, it's a long-term investment in yourself.
Smartphone development in general is only getting more advanced, more complicated, and more resource-heavy. Expectations that old-world technology will just keep working with today's online services is a bad practice. This will just increase aggravations using your cheap, below-spec phone.
Even with a budget restriction there are phones that are quite viable and still economical. If anything, avoid getting another phone running any version of Android Go. Really, Go is intended to be used on minimum usage phones. It's by design pared down with stripped down apps and services that have inherent limitations. If you do get another phone running Android Go, set your expectations lower when using it.
Thanks for your helpful advice. Phone is working ok with the SD Card. I haven't received any more low storage warnings so fingers crossed.
 

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